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Edith Hopper Park, Ladies Mile, Manly

Talking Tennis – Autumn 2020 Edition

Who knew that …..

Bubble, bear hunt, covid, click and collect, lockdown, level4, new normal, pandemic, PPE, social distancing, zoom, would all drop into our everyday language in the early part of 2020.

What it has meant….

First and foremost it has affected all of us: club members; our tennis coaches; members’ families and households; our loyal sponsors. They have all been impacted in one way or another.

Secondly, along with all tennis clubs and sports generally, we have had to lock our doors and stay closed. That happened on March 19th.

The anticipated easing to Alert Level 3 for the country this coming week does not make a material difference to the current arrangements for our tennis club.

Sadly, Level 3 is not markedly different from Level 4 when it comes to sport activities, so our courts and clubhouse will remain locked.

Hopefully, a further easing to Level 2 is not too far away and we can get back on court.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes ….

A variety of club and committee members have been beavering away in the best interests of the club.

Our eagle eyed Maintenance Man, Bryan, spotted a serious mains water leak whilst out on his local cycling exercise. We have had to turn the mains water supply to the clubhouse off and arrange for a plumber to attend once we are in Level 3. We hope the leaking pipe is under the perimeter concrete pathway rather than the pipe running below ground between courts 4 and 5. Fingers crossed!

The sub-committee refreshing the interior of the clubhouse have identified a supplier to powder coat the table and chair frames and another supplier to re-upholster the seat coverings. That work will be done post the AGM. Improvements to the lighting will soon be installed thanks to our electrical expert, Gary.

The sub committee liaising with the Netball Club committee have just been presented with the delayed feasibility study carried out by Visitor Solutions. Both clubs need a bit of time to absorb the findings from this professional report that is 74 pages in length. Currently, our WTC sub committee are working through a business case to be shared with the club Tennis Council and all members. It will aim to outline the benefits, risks and financial implications of any potential joint development. We will bring members up to speed and seek their reaction in the middle of the year.

Looking ahead ….

We cannot escape the fact that we face some unique challenges for the club in the remainder of this calendar year. They include:

Get the club back up and running (may need to do in stages: courts, clubhouse, bar ).
Repair the mains water leak.
In this virus environment, we need arrangements in place so members feel safe and comfortable attending our tennis club.
Get people back in the ‘habit’ of coming to tennis after this extended period of closure.
Getting financial grants will likely be tougher as pokie machines have been in lockdown. Available funds will be smaller.
Staging the AGM – may need to be creative if size of gatherings is still restricted.
The ‘Love Tennis’ recruitment weekend in early September takes on increased importance if we are to keep our membership numbers up in these challenging times.

Smiling Through ….

I know from phone calls, emails, whatsaps and zoom that many members are itching to get out and hit a ball again. It has brought home the value of being part of our tennis club – the ability to exercise, compete, banter and enjoy a drink together play an important part in our feeling of social wellbeing.

That enjoyment of ‘belonging’ is now even more important in these less certain times.

So fingers crossed we can get back out there, on court, in the new normal.

See you soon

Alf Sayer
Club President